Effects of angiotensin II on autonomic components of nasopharyngeal stimulation in male conscious rabbits

Tarek M. Mousa, Lie Gao, Kurtis G. Cornish, Irving H. Zucker

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8 Scopus citations


Angiotensin II (ANG II) is known to activate central sympathetic neurons. In this study we determined the effects of ANG II on the autonomic components of the cardiovascular responses to stimulation of nasopharyngeal receptors with cigarette smoke. Experiments were carried out in conscious New Zealand White rabbits instrumented to record arterial pressure and heart rate. Rabbits were exposed to 50 ml of cigarette smoke before and after subcutaneous osmotic minipump delivery of ANG II at a dose of 50 ng·kg -1·min-1 for 1 wk in one group and intracerebroventricular (icv) infusion at a dose of 100 pmol/min for 1 h in a second group. The responses were compared before and after heart rate was controlled by pacing. Autonomic components were evaluated by intravenous administration of atropine methyl bromide (0.2 mg/kg) and prazosin (0.5 mg/kg). ANG II given either systemically or icv significantly blunted the pressor response to smoke (P < 0.05) when the bradycardic response was prevented. This blunted response was not due to an absolute increase in baseline blood pressure after ANG II infusion (71.64 ± 11.6 vs. 92.1 ± 19.8 mmHg; P < 0.05) because normalization of blood pressure with sodium nitroprusside to pre-ANG II levels also resulted in a significantly blunted pressor response to smoke. The effect of smoke was α1-adrenergic receptor-mediated because it was essentially abolished by prazosin in both the pre- and the post-ANG II states (P < 0.05). These results suggest that elevations in central ANG II reduce the sympathetic response to smoke in conscious rabbits. This effect may be due to an augmentation of baseline sympathetic outflow and a reduction in reflex sensitivity similar to the effect of ANG II on baroreflex function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1607-1611
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2005


  • Alpha adrenergic receptors
  • Blood pressure
  • Smoke
  • Sympathetic nerve activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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